Janis Joplin, “Ball and Chain” Live in Monterey

Janis Joplin, “Ball and Chain” Live in Monterey | Society Of Rock Videos

Janis Blows Away The Competition In Monterey

When you’re a brand new artist, you know you’ve made it when your performance wows another artist of your caliber. In Janis Joplin’s case, it was her rendition of Big Mama Thornton’s ‘Ball and Chain’ that shook concertgoer and singer Cass Elliott – better known as Mama Cass of The Mamas and The Papas – to her very core!

At the time, Janis was relatively unknown; she was only about a year into her professional music career, taking the stage with Big Brother and The Holding Company and hadn’t yet adopted her later reputation for her powerhouse, blues-soaked voice.

The Mamas and The Papas loved and respect Janis so much that they recorded ‘Pearl’, a tribute to Janis following her death in 1970.

This exclusive footage of Janis performing ‘Ball and Chain’ at the Monterey Pop Festival in 1967 features the moment when from the audience, Mama Cass’ mouth drops and she mouths “Wow,” after a particularly strong vocal run from Janis; from that moment on, the hippie girl from Port Arthur, Texas would become a household name and one of the most beloved figures in classic rock!

+ Ball and Chain lyrics +

Sitting down by my window
Looking at the rain
Send a bomb in my world of night air
All around I felt it

All I could see was the rain
Something grabbed a hold of me honey
Felt to me, honey like a ball and chain
You know what I mean

Say whoa honey, this can’t be
Just because I got to want your love, please leave me be
Whoa honey, this can’t be just because I got to need ya daddy
Please don’t ya let me down now
Honey, I wanted to love ya

Whoa honey, just can’t be
I wonder if someone if they could tell me
Tell me why
Just because I got to want your love

Honey, just because I got to need, need, need your love
I say, I don’t understand
Honey, when I wanna try and say hi
Try, try, try, try, try, try, try

Honey, when everybody in the world wants the same damn thing
When everybody in the world, who needs the same lone thing
When I wanna work for your love daddy
When I wanna try for you love daddy
I don’t understand, how come, your gone, man

I don’t understand why half the world is still crying, man
When the other half the world is still crying too, man
I mean, if you gotta care for one day, man
Say, maybe, you wanna care for 365 days, right?

You ain’t got it for 365 days, man
You got it for one day, man
Well, I’ll tell you that one day, man, better be your life, man
Because you know, you can say
“Oh man, you can cry about the other 364”

But your gonna lose that one day, man
And that’s all you got
You gotta call that love, man
That’s what it is

If you got it today, you don’t wear it tomorrow
‘Cause you don’t need it
As a matter of fact, as we discovered on the train
Tomorrow never happens

It’s all the same fucking day, man
So you gotta, when you wanna hold somebody
You gotta hold ’em like it’s the last minute of your life
You gotta hold

‘Cause some day some weight
Gonna come on your shoulders babe
Ball and chain

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